Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Common Council to Introduce Resolution Opposing DOT Route 9 Plan

On Monday at their regular Common Council meeting, the Council will consider a resolution to oppose the most recent DOT proposal to eliminate traffic lights on Route 9.

The bipartisan resolution sponsored by leading Democratic and Republican council members Tom Serra and Seb Giuliano reads as follows:

Approving that, unless and until the Common Council is formally included in the design and review process for the State of Connecticut’s Route 9 project, the Common Council is, and will remain, opposed to the projects and any others that may be brought forward; and that given the range of potential adverse impacts that may result from this project, the Common Council opposes the aforesaid State of Connecticut’s Route 9 redesign projects, and will take all steps needed to protect the overall health, safety, and general welfare of the City and its people, especially those in the North End as well as to protect the social, cultural, economic, physical, industrial, recreational, and commercial elements and values of the City as a whole.

Council leaders have been petitioned by Planning and Zoning Commission member and chair of the P&Z Stephen Devoto (full disclosure: Devoto is a writer and editor of the Middletown Eye), to include the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Education in the list of city boards and commissions to be consulted in consideration of any Route 9 project.

Devoto cites state statute in his plea to have the P&Z involved.  According to state statute:

Sec. 13a-57a. Consultation with municipal officers in planning of highway within municipality. Whenever the Commissioner of Transportation is engaged in the planning of any limited access highway, interchange or connector to be located within the limits of any town, city or borough or consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough he shall consult, to the fullest extent possible, with the chief executive officer and the planning commission, if any, of such town, city or borough or consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough so as to conserve, preserve and, if possible, enhance the environment by insuring through such consultations that the proposed works will have the least adverse impact on the environment. 

The DOT did not consult the Common Council, the P&Z, the BOE or any North End community groups before presenting their most recent plans for Route 9.  The mayor and the Director of Planning were consulted.

Community members who would like to speak about the plan, its effect on Middletown and Middletown's neighborhoods are invited to speak at the public session during the Common Council meeting.  The meeting will be held in City Hall council chambers Monday April 2 and begins at 7 PM.  The public session is held at the beginning of the meeting.


cybermom said...

This is what happens when a planning director is appointed who has no qualifications for the job. Middletown has been short changed by Mayor Dan Drew who appointed his friend to one of the most important jobs in the city. Let's get rid of both of them as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Commuters are tax payers too. We live in Middletown because of family & affordability but have to commute a great distance. It's hurtful to say commuters aren't people too. No one commutes by choice! Agreed these plans stink! But can't there be a compromise? People who have the luxury to bike or walk to work have no idea how dangerous the lights on the highway are. The solution to detour traffic to main Street, the rotaries, or the wall blocking the river are all bad, but there's gotta be a better way than no fix at all.

Anonymous said...

The lights aren't dangerous. Lawless drivers are dangerous. Everyone needs to slow down. Won't cost a penny to do that.

Anonymous said...

To anon 9:17 — You seem to be implying that your desire to live near family and also have relatively inexpensive housing somehow makes you a victim in the Route 9 dilemma. Yes, you have a long commute. But you cannot blame poor luck or circumstance, and you certainly cannot claim to be disadvantaged. You want to live near family. You want cheap housing. It sounds like you have managed to get those things. If your commute were intolerable, you would have long since moved closer to where you work. Or you would have found a job closer to where you live.

As for the “taxpayers have rights too” rhetoric, which has appeared on another post as well: there is no taxation without representation. To suggest that somehow you are being deprived of your rights is ludicrous.

And yes, there is a better way. Devoto and Alexander have both suggested a better way. Another, albeit considerably more expensive, alternative is to bury the highway. Middletown’s downtown businesses and core neighborhoods should not be destroyed just so people can avoid the inconvenience of a few traffic lights.

Jen Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yes, we need a planning director with planning experience, background, knowledge - this is not good for Middletown!